Top Four Performances – 7th December 2013
Hello, and welcome to what is blessedly my final performance recap of the series! It must nearly be Christmas. I feel this in a way that no amount of chocolate candles prised out of plastic behind cardboard doors could ever make me feel. It’s been a boring as ARSE series this one, hasn’t it? [I think you are sullying the good name of arse with that comparison. - Steve]
Anyway, to business. LAST WEEK! Rad talked you through the jukebox fun and this is shown by our X Factor gods as LAST WEEKEND, the final five sang for their place and we see how much they were trying to keep Tamera in as people would at least tune in for the car crash of her possibly forgetting her words and having a strop. But it wasn’t to be and Nicole is the first judge with full marching orders and Louis is finally recognised to the chagrin of the others as the true hero of this show.
TONIGHT however, is the SEMI FINAL and as tradition dictates I cannot let the occasion pass without saying HURR SEMI. [Me neither. "Semi". Tee hee hee. - Steve] Who’s going to be in the final? Well it’s Rough Copy who are coming out blazing tonight and will be stepping it up because they have to be in the final. Luke Friend who has been working toward this for the whole of his short life and he’s not giving up now. His performances mean everything. Nicolas McDonald can’t believe he’s made it this far and the pressure has been on. He really doesn’t want to go home this week. Finally, it’s SamBailey who is so nervous about singing well known songs and there’s no room to make a mistake like Tamera. OH NOES I HOPE SHE DOESN’T FUCK IT UP. BETTER STAY TUNED TO MAKE SURE.
We’ve gone a full two minutes without hearing from the judges so let’s get back to them. Even though she has no acts, Nicole will be paying close attention. Funsponge reminds us that it’s going to be shit to go home in the semi final but it has to happen. That was a bit of a Louis Walsh observation, was it not? Sharon reminds us that you are only as good as your last performance. IT’S TIME TO FACE THE MUSIC!! GIANT X!!!
Oh here comes Durrbot. He walks on to “I’m Still Standing” which surely is a reference to his continued employment. Do I have to tell you about the suit? It’s shit. It’s an abomination on the level of Robbie Williams’ Palladium performance only it contains copious amounts of filler from a single Muppet. I love Robbie and this week has been the first time I’ve been ashamed of that fact. Durrbot reminds us all how close we are to the final and how there’s two performances between the acts and the final. BUT, a singer is not a singer unless they’re being told which popstar they’re like a sub standard version of so here are your judges!
Louis awkwardly dances out in a lovely black number, Sharon is in a silver statuesque number. Nicole is in something black and “directional” which looks like it’s been pulled out of a background shot of Ugly Betty and Funsponge is in a black velvet smoking jacket which is probably to remind us all of the dope and pie years.
Once this bit of business is taken care of, it’s announced that it is Elton vs Beyonce week. I don’t know. Is that even a thing? How have we taken those two artists and come up with a theme? I’ll never understand this show. Even when I watch it so closely and break it down for you guys so often it still throws up the odd surprise. I suppose the only explanation is that they were fully expecting Tamera to still be here at this point. As he’s talking Nicole blows some kisses into the crowd and nearly falls over. It’s joyous. [Drunk again. Oh, Nicole. - Steve]
So, first to Louis, the undisputed king of the show and the only judge to be guaranteed an act in the final. He goes for broke when introducing Luke, making reference to both his age and his national identity, but here he is, it’s Luke! Luke’s VT is about how he was brilliant on the Saturday but came crashing down on the Sunday when the GBP didn’t vote for him. He’s not sure why nobody is voting for him but he’s grateful still to be here. He tells us that he’s doing Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce. Louis then trolls him a bit by saying that Beyonce is one of the biggest and best acts in the world and it’s going to be a big challenge. He’s a bit worried but he’s doing a very Lukified version of it so that makes him feel better. At choreography, Cisco Gomez (EXCELLENT NAME) [otherwise known as Not That Sisco. - Steve] tells Luke that he’s not going to be doing any Beyonce style athletic moves. Well no shit, Cisco, it’s a BALLID. We watch Beyonce do some moves on a SAMSUNG GALAXY TABLET to see what he’s talking about. Because Luke can’t nick her moves he’s got to look at her performance skills and channel his inner diva to get votes. He’s well up for the challenge. He’s fighting for his place tonight. Let’s see.
Luke does a Luke performance which is basically Mumfording the shit out of the song with no socks on. It’s a niche talent but Luke has cornered it. He’s wearing a Kingsland Road Memorial Shirt of Awful too. God bless him. You know what, even though it’s a slight diss to the goddess Knowles and it’s got a touch of banjo wankery about it I can’t help but like it. [You're fired. Again. - Steve] He’s enthusiastic and at least he’s put a bit of effort into making the song his own. [And it's better than what comes next at any rate - Rad]
Sharon calls him a darling hairball. She doesn’t like the song but his performance was better than the song. He’s turned into a great performer. Funsponge reminds us that he was the first performer and he’s come on a journey. He feels he’s outgrown the stage and has done a good job. Nicole thinks its Wand Erection vs Mumford [vs Beyonce. And she gets booed for this, even though THAT'S WHAT IT WAS AND THAT WASN'T EVEN AN INSULT- Rad] but likes that he’s taken a risk. I LOVE NO CONSEQUENCES NICOLE. Louis thinks the risk paid off. He’s an excellent contestant, a real musician and a great person and he wants him in the final. Everyone needs to vote.
Durrbot then asks Luke three questions at once as usual but chooses to end on one about him having a little walk around stage with the guitar on his back. Luke says he enjoyed the performance and he knew it was a risk but was glad people liked it. He then goes on to ask about Funsponge’s comment about him growing as a performer. Luke says that he enjoys taking risks and that he feels he changed the Wand Erection song better than this one but he still likes trying different things.
AFTER THE BREAK – Nicholas and Sam. ADVERTS.
When we return Durrbot reminds us of how the competition works before Louis reminds us all that Nicolas is from Scotland. Nicholas never in his wildest dreams thought he would make it this far in the competition. They look back over his X Factor career on his GALAXY TAB and he feels that his confidence is growing week on week with his performance, singing and dancing skills. He’s singing Halo this week which is a massive song. Nicholas is distilling the essence of Beyonce by singing to everyone in the world when he sings. Cisco reminds him that this is what he needs to do in the EASYGYM. Nicholas seems to think that this involves making sex faces which makes the whole world uncomfortable. Nicholas reminds us that he’s never even been in love so singing songs about heartbreak is quite difficult for him. He doesn’t want to fall at the last hurdle and Louis tells him to give it everything. We’ll see.
He starts weak. It doesn’t really get better. He’s wearing tartan because he’s, yannow, Scotch. A key change can’t even save this. It’s also been chopped a bit so you don’t really know where it’s going. Oh god he’s fluffed a note. He looks broken. Oh no. Make it stop. He sounds like he’s crying which actually injects a bit of personality into the song but dear god make it stop. Louis knows. He knows. Everyone is a bit broken. Oh no. This is just sad.
Sharon wants to know why he’s crying. [Well she actually demands TELL THE MOTHER EVERYTHING which is somewhat creepy and weird - Rad] He’s not crying. He wants to go all the way. Sharon thinks he wants to go away. She corrects him. Sharon wants him to get rid of the tears. Funsponge reminds him that he’s got another performance to catch up with. He needs to pick his confidence up. For once we agree, the song was too big for him. He needs to move forward. Nicole reminds him it’s a hard song to sing because of the range and she knows he messed up but messing up brought out the tiger in him and she likes that. She wants him to stay focused and go with the emotions. Louis says it was a big song for a LITTLE GUY FROM GLASGOW but Scotland are behind him and his god given talent. I am Scottish but I can honestly say that I’ve never voted for someone purely on that basis but I know that some of my fellow countrypeople are nationalistic so you go for it Louis. [Question: if the Scots vote for independence, do they get their own X Factor? - Steve] Louis wants him to stop smiling and he wants tears of joy.
Durrbot wonders what went wrong but Nicholas just thanks everyone for voting for him. Durrbot says something useless about the pressure and Nicholas goes off backstage. GET THE APP.
It’s time for Sharon and her final over 25. Could this be her year to win? Probably. Sambailey can’t believe she’s in the semi finals. She was the most nervous ever last week when it hit her that it was the quarter final. The pressure is on for her and she wants to be in the final. Sharon says that the pressure has been on this week so Sharon took her back to her house in the country. Sambailey arrives at Sharon’s door and Sharon calls her Sambailey. Sambailey remarks that Sharon’s house is like Santa’s Grotto. Sambailey can’t believe she’s there. She’s enjoying getting away from it all on a swing and looking at deer. Sharon wants her to have time to focus because everything depends on the next performance. NO PRESSURE THEN.
Sambailey is singing If I Were A Boy in St Jesy Memorial Leggings [And some horrible dress/shirt THING on top. She looked AWFUL. She basically only suits big flowing dresses, I think - Rad]. This song has been forever ruined for me by Unique the gender confused teenager on Glee doing a very, very emotional rendition of it and making me cry. Nobody can do it like she can. Sam Bailey gives it a good go, she even sticks in a key change, but there’s no personality in it as usual. Bellowed. Competently, but bellowed none the less.
Funsponge says it’s another strong performance and notes that Beyonce writes songs for her amazing range and Sambailey coped with it beautifully. Nicole thinks she took the performance back to the Sambailey balls. She says balls a few more times because basically she’s a goddess in human form or the female Will.I.Am depending on the way you want to look at it. She thinks she connected with the song and she can let go more because it’s in her. Louis says that she never lets anyone down vocally because he’s the master of stealth shade. He even says that the competition is hers to lose, but quickly corrects it by saying that she could win it for Mrs O because she ticks all the boxes and looks like a popstar. Sharon reminds us that she chose the song. Sharon thinks she looks stunning.
Sambailey says she chose the song to show off her vocal range and she’s glad she got through it. That’s all she’s allowed to say. ADVERTS.
When we return Durrbot must’ve taken some obnoxious pills in the adverts because he introduces Funsponge then shouts PHOTOBOMB and ducks into the frame with him. OH DEAR. Funsponge welcomes Rough Copy. Rough Copy are very excited to be in the semi finals. They talk about their favourite performance which was their first one and Nicole saying that they were the best band on the show ever. Funsponge jokes that he had to pay her to say that. I’m not convinced he’s wholly joking. They talk about how their dancing and harmonies have improved over the weeks and how hard they work on each performance. This week is no different. They’re doing Survivor by Destiny’s Child. They think the song illustrates their struggle in the competition and Funsponge agrees that it’s perfect. They’re going to sing their hearts out and fight for their place in the competition.
Rough Copy are still trying to make leggings and backpacks a thing. They’re also dressed like Rodney in that episode of Only Fools And Horses where Rodney has to pretend to be a teenager. To be fair it’s quite a good performance. I enjoy it until it all goes a bit substep but at least they seem like they’re having fun.
Nicole finds it hard to form words but eventually says that the semi finals have finally begun. They bring the fun and the tempo which is true. I’m all ballided out tonight already to be honest. She says it’s their song because they are survivors. It’s their song and the song of many drunken people in Yates. She wants them in the finals. Louis agrees that they bring the energy and nobody works harder than them but they could’ve toned it down a bit. Nicole schools him a bit for this comment as the crowd shout ‘arsey’ again. Sharon thinks they bring the spirit but the rucksacks and the dancers humping the floor was a bit much. They’ve got a point. Funsponge doesn’t think it’s time to pull the reigns in, they need to keep bringing the vibe.
Durrbot has a go at Louis and Louis’ only defence is that Sharon said the same. Rough Copy answer back and say that the song is their anthem for being in the bottom two once and they’re going to keep on surviving. VOTE PLZ.
After a recap and some adverts Durrbot is in the audience with the eff and effs. We’ve had the Beyonce so now it’s logically time for some Elton. We go to Louis who is apparently no stranger to a tantrum and a tiara. It’s Nicholas who, in case we have forgotten, is from Scotland. Louis remarks how far he’s come in eight weeks. Nicholas agrees. He’s even learned how to work a washing machine and even shows us how he does it. Louis wonders if he misses Scotland. He does, but he wants to be here more than anything. Louis thinks he’s come on leaps and bounds and has lost the shy, Scottish thing. EVERYONE, NICHOLAS IS FROM SCOTLAND. VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE HE’S SCOTTISH. YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR HIM TO REUNITE BRITAIN AND STOP SCOTLAND WANTING TO BE INDEPENDENT. FIX BROKEN BRITAIN, VOTE NICHOLAS. He’s having an incredible experience but he’s missing his mum and dad but they fly down every weekend and video call him on his SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB to support him and tell him how proud they are. He’s singing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. He’s dedicating it to his family. D’aww. He can’t believe he’s only one song (and a public vote) away from the final and he’s scared because he doesn’t want to go home. He’s got a (Scottish) fire in his heart to go all the way. GO SCOTTISH NICHOLAS!
Nicholas is on the NotLouis memorial staircase to nowhere wearing a shirt with semicircles on it which seems designed to annoy anyone who’s even a little bit OCD. There are some interpretive dancers on stage who only add to any irritation you may be feeling at his shirt. He sings it a lot better than the Beyonce number which isn’t hard. It doesn’t really go anywhere though. The judges are going to love it though. [His uncomfortable wiggling about was a bit distracting as well - Rad]
Sharon starts the love in. She says he sang well despite everyone throwing themselves on the floor. Funsponge thinks he saved it from his earlier disastrous performance and says some singing words. This is the type of song to sing if he wants to be in the final. Nicole thinks he’s back in the race and did a good job. He focused and pulled himself together. Louis agrees that the first song was pants because he was EMOTIONAL AND ONLY SEVENTEEN but he pulled it together and now he’s a role model for ALL OF SCOTLAND because he’s worked hard and he’s got a recording voice.
Durrbot says that we can’t forget he’s seventeen because Louis keeps banging on about it. Louis replies that he is indeed seventeen. Durrbot then calls out Funsponge on his fancy music talk. Nicholas just says that his tears took over on the first performance but he wants to make the final. Durrbot wants to know how it feels to be on the brink. Nicholas feels like he could grab it and he’s doing that through song.
AFTER THE BREAK – Luke and Rough Copy’s backpack. WIN SOME MONEY FROM JLS.
To Louis again and its Devon’s finest, Luke Friend! He tells us that everyone knows they could win it so they’re all working hard. Louis urges him to look at his SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB to see his first performance. Luke remarks on his nerves and feels that he’s got a lot more vocal control since then. He feels his turning point was the third week, when he felt in control of the stage. He’s doing Something About The Way You Look Tonight, that famous b side of Candle in the Wind.
So how is it? The shirt is still there. I can’t remark on the socks because he’s standing in smoke. He’s combed his hair a bit though, which is nice. Nice is the word I think. Nice. That’s all I can say.
Sharon thinks it’s a hard song for him and it’s a song out of his comfort zone in that it hasn’t been Mumforded to fuck. He was alone without his guitar and he should be proud of himself for his well sung, emotional performance. Funsponge thinks it’s a good performance and he admires that he likes to change his songs. He also loves that he puts his uniqueness and artistry first and never chases votes. *cough* bitch *cough*. Nicole dittos Funsponges comments but adds in that he’s got a gigantic heart and he put it out for everyone to see. He’s authentic and real and he deserves to be in the final. Louis loves that Luke is in the X Factor for the music and not the fame. He stands out from the crowd so all of Devon better vote for him.
Durrbot remarks on his jacket and wonders how the performance was for him. Luke says he wanted to show his versatility across the two performances and he wants and deserves to be in the final. Durrbot wants to know how it feels to be so close. He thinks it’s amazing that he’s here and he’s not going home yet. VOTE
Caroline is backstage with Alexandra Burke, who is inspired by everyone but mostly Sam who she thinks is incredible. She’s also backing Luke who has something. Sambailey’s next performance is going to be emotional, but first it’s Funsponge and Rough Copy.
Funsponge reminds Rough Copy that Elton is his hero. The “so you better not fuck it up” remains silent. They’re singing Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word which is Funsponge’s favourite, so no pressure. They say that Elton is one of the best songwriters in Britain and he wears big glasses. Yeah, that about sums it up. They remark that what he does as an artist is different to them. They say that group singing is all about the harmonies but they’re singing a song meant for a solo artist. They’re solving this by each getting a bit to themselves. They’re scared because there’s no hiding place. Funsponge takes them to Wembley Arena so they can get a bit psyched out. Funsponge remembers playing there in 93 and talks about how fantastic it was. They’re going to rip up the stage this week because they need to be on the Wembley stage next week.
They’re singing the song in the style of the boy band Blue. They’ve got stools and everything. There are sadly no backpacks but the leggings are present. It goes a bit substep in the middle and there’s some vocal acrobatics but it doesn’t really seem like them. They’re a bouncy group. This ballid shit feels a bit forced and not really them. [So far I think the score is Beyonce 2-1 Elton - Rad]
Nicole loves it though, and says they should pack their backpacks because they deserve to be in the finals. She thinks it was beautiful, understated and they all had a chance to shine but they have chemistry together. Louis loved this song better than the other and it was slick and there’s a gap in the market for them. They deserve to be in the final. Sharon says that they were NAKED on stage and they nailed it. Funsponge thinks they have to get to the final because all the other groups in the final have done so well and he wants that for them.
Durrbot would like to know how they’re feeling. They said that they like relating to the lyrics and they want everyone to love them. They apologise for their nakedness. Apparently they auditioned last year too so Durrbot would like to know how it feels to be here. They say that they are happy to be there together then get a bit flustered so Durrbot has a rare moment of professionalism and cuts them off.
OLLY MURS WANTS YOU TO AUDITION, adverts.
When we return it’s time for Sharon and Sambailey who’s singing a song you might know. Sharon is urging us to vote already. Sambailey can’t believe she’s come so far. She watches her performances on a SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB and remarks on how far she’s come, hitting notes that she couldn’t believe she could hit. She feels like she belongs on stage and is loving getting good feedback. She’s loving the support she’s getting from Gary Lineker and all of Leicester. She’s worried about her one piece of bad feedback but she’s dealing with it.
Let’s take a second here. Sambailey will be singing Candle in The Wind. REALLY? This is straight out of that Peter Kay spoof, right? She’s singing Candle in the Wind for the Princess of all our hearts so that theoretically a vote against Sambailey is a vote against the windy candle of all our hearts? Oh ffs X Factor. I really, really thought that you’d lowered the bar so much that it was impossible to see but it turns out there’s further to sink. Ugh. Shame on you.
Sharon reminds her that everyone is fighting for the final. She hopes that the song touches everyone like it touches her. BLECH.
Oh well, at least she’s doing the original version which is only slightly better because they made it sound like she was doing the Diana version. She’s singing it on the Rebecca Ferguson memorial plinth. [And wearing a curtain - Rad] [And sounding like Jane McDonald. - Steve] That’s the most interesting thing about it.
Funsponge kicks off the feedback. It was beautiful and thinks that she saw another side to her. She took a story song and turned it into a singer’s song. Nicole says she didn’t oversing it and shiitake mushrooms at her voice. Nicole is taking her lashes off to Sharon for a mentoring job well done. Louis thinks she’s the most consistent contestant. Consistant? She never lets them down and she’s the people’s princess. She’s going through to the final. Sharon thanks her and says she loves her.
Durrbot thanks Nicole for ‘take mushrooms’. Sambailey is happy because whatever happens she’ll see her babies soon and wants to be in the final for anyone who ever had a dream. OH FUCK OFF.
So that’s it. Someone’s got to go. Numbers, Recap and a reminder to watch tomorrow for Leona Lewis and the finalists. Yay!